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The Wobblies in their Heyday

By: 
Staughton Lynd and Eric Chester

Review of The Wobblies in their Heyday: The Rise and Destruction of the Industrial Workers of the World during the World War I Era by Eric Chester (Praeger, 2014, hardbound; Levellers Press, 2016, paperback). Staughton Lynd

The Wobblies are back. Many young radicals find the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) the most congenial available platform on which to stand in trying to change the world.

This effort has been handicapped by the lack of a hard-headed history of the IWW in its initial incarnation, from 1905 to just after World War I. The existing literature, for example Franklin Rosemont’s splendid book on Joe Hill, is strong on movement culture and atmosphere. It is weak on why the organization went to pieces in the early 1920s.